It’s been long, hot summer – now are the dog days when the garden starts to look a bit done in by the heat. Many times we as gardeners don’t know how to water our gardens. Keep reading for some tips on when to water, how to water and how often to water our gardens to beat the heat.
When should you water?
Don’t water in the heat of the day. Water in the morning or water in the evening in the cool of the day. Watering when it is cool reduces evaporation and makes the water available for your plant when it needs it the most – during the hottest part of the day.
Where should you water?
Water at the base of your plant with drip irrigation or a nozzle, because overhead watering can splash water on the leaves of your plant and cause diseases. Keeping your plant leaves as dry as possible helps control common garden diseases such as powdery mildew, blight, leaf spot and many more.
How often should you water?
The frequency of watering really depends on the weather where you live. In hot, dry weather you will have to water more often than you would in cold or rainy weather.
Check the moisture level of your soil frequently to determine whether or not you need to water your plants. This is very easy to do either with a moisture meter or with your finger.
Most moisture meters can be calibrated according to the ideal moisture for your particular soil. Put the probe of the moisture meter into the soil, if the moisture meter shows that your soil is wet, you don’t need to water. If it is showing that your soil is dry, give your plants a drink.
To check with your finger, simply stick your finger in the soil as far as you can reach it at the base of your plants. If the soil feels wet, you don’t need to water, if it feels dry, water your plants.
Rather than quick watering sessions, water your garden less frequently, but water slowly, deeply, for longer periods of time. And of course, always water at the base of your plants. This helps the water get way down to the roots where the plant needs it the most.
My favorite way to water is with a drip irrigation system because you get a nice, slow, steady drip that sinks deep into the roots of your plants. I have a timer set up for automatic watering, but be sure to check your garden regularly to see if you are watering at appropriate intervals.
If you are watering with a nozzle, water slowly at the base of your plants, let the water sink in, then repeat, letting the water sink again so the it gets all the way to the roots.
Check garden daily and mulch
The most important thing you can do for the welfare of your garden during the hot summer days is to check your plants daily to see if they need water. And mulch, mulch, mulch with shredded leaves, straw, or quality wood chips. This cuts down on water evaporation, which means that you have to water less often, especially during the dog days of summer.
Watch the “2 Minute CaliKim Tip” video from my YouTube channel, “Watering Your Garden in the Summer to Beat the Heat: When, How and How Often” so you can see exactly what to do to be water your garden effectively during these hot summer days.
Comment below – let me know how your garden is faring in the heat!
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